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The State

September 15, 1987

Gov. George Deukmejian has signed legislation allowing physicians to disclose the results of AIDS tests to the spouses of those who test positive for the deadly virus. In a statement released by his office, Deukmejian said the legislation, by Assemblywoman Teresa Hughes (D-Los Angeles) attempts to "equally protect California physicians as they, in turn, seek to protect public health." Previously, physicians who disclosed AIDS test results could be held criminally or civilly liable. The governor's statement noted that some AIDS victims may not be willing to inform their spouses and "the virus may be transmitted to the spouse without his or her knowledge." Another aim of the legislation, the governor said, is to "help prevent the spread of this fatal disease to unborn children." The new law applies only to spouses and not to unmarried companions.

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